- Controversial 'prophet' Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, appeared in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday
- The couple is facing several charges, including fraud and money-laundering
- The matter was postponed to 16 October for a pre-trial conference
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On Monday, controversial leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECGC) 'Prophet' Shepard Bushiri and his wife Mary made a brief appearance in the Gauteng North High Court for the start of their trial case.
The couple were arrested in February 2019 and they are facing charges of fraud, money laundering and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for offences they allegedly committed from 2015.
The pair's trial was transferred from the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court to the Gauteng North High Court.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority's North Gauteng region spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, the matter was postponed to 16 October for a pre-trial conference.
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One of the charges related to exchange control regulations and involved foreign currency of $1 147 200 (R18 843 677,76).
The Daily Sun reported that despite Bushiri calling for calm, his supporters came in numbers to support during his first day of trial with his wife. The congregants had their placards up in the sky and were singing for their "Papa".
The couple are currently out on a R100 000 bail each. Bushiri said he is not happy about the trial being postponed as he and his wife took a risk to come out during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year the government of Botswana lifted its visa restrictions on Bushiri after it deregistered his church in the country in December 2017.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa has put pen to paper and officially signed into law the Border Management Authority Bill. In a statement from the Presidency on Tuesday, it was confirmed that the bill was passed by the National Assembly in March.
The statement said the legislation addresses a need identified by government and diverse stakeholders in the economy for an integrated and well-coordinated border management service that will ensure secure travel and legitimate trade in accordance with the Constitution and international and domestic law.
The Presidency continued that the new law would solve the challenge of multiple agencies all attempting to manage different aspects of border control.
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